Jury rejects claim that Jackson promoter negligent
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A jury has rejected a claim that the promoter of Michael Jackson's comeback concerts was negligent in hiring the doctor who killed the superstar with a drug overdose.
The verdict was read Wednesday, roughly five months after opening statements in the case filed by Jackson's mother.
Katherine Jackson sought to hold AEG Live LLC responsible for her son's death, arguing that it hired Dr. Conrad Murray to be the singer's physician without considering whether he was fit for the job.
AEG Live denied any wrongdoing and said it was Jackson who hired Murray.
Murray was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter after giving Jackson the overdose as he prepared for a series of comeback shows.
The Jackson family matriarch was seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for herself and her son's three children.
Not guilty plea in alleged random SF killing
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco prosecutors say the defendant in the alleged random slaying of a university student was hunting for a victim before the attack.
Assistant District Attorney Scot Clark made the comments on Wednesday, as 30-year-old Nikhom Thephakaysone(Ni-KOM' tep-KAY'-sahn) was arraigned on murder and other charges. He pleaded not guilty.
Clark said Thephakaysone stuck a handgun in another man's back earlier on the night last month that he killed 20-year-old Justin Valdez. Clark said he did not pull the trigger, but then went on the hunt for a victim for at least an hour and 15 minutes afterward, at one point waving a gun outside a Thai restaurant.
Thephakaysone is accused of shooting Valdez, a San Francisco State University student, in the back as Valdez exited a light-rail car in the city.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY-ROBBERY
Habitat for Humanity crew robbed at gunpoint
(Information in the following story is from: The Oakland Tribune, http://www.oaklandtribune.com)
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Police say a group of workers were robbed at gunpoint at a Habitat for Humanity site where former President Jimmy Carter is scheduled to tour in Oakland.
The Oakland Tribune reports that eight Habitat staff members and AmeriCorps workers were robbed of their cell phones and wallets Tuesday at the Brookfield Court development in East Oakland.
Police say a man was also shot at and pistol-whipped. He refused medical attention.
Habitat spokeswoman Krysta Morgenthaler says four men robbed the workers where 12 townhomes are currently under construction. Another dozen workers were not robbed.
No arrests have been made.
The robbery comes less than a week before Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter are scheduled to visit Oakland and San Jose as part of a weeklong campaign highlighting Habitat for Humanity's home-building projects.
DRUG WEBSITE SHUTDOWN
Feds arrest San Francisco man in underground drugs website
NEW YORK (AP) — Court records indicate that a hidden website operated by a 29-year-old San Francisco man became a vast black market bazaar that brokered more than $1 billion in transactions for illegal drugs and services.
The criminal complaint released in New York accused Ross William Ulbricht of being the mastermind and charged him with narcotics trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering. A separate indictment in Maryland accused him in a failed murder-for-hire scheme.
The website, Silk Road, allowed users to anonymously make purchases using the electronic currency Bitcoin.
Federal authorities shut the site down and arrested Ulbricht on Tuesday afternoon in a branch of San Francisco's public library. Authorities say Ulbricht was online on his laptop chatting with a cooperating witness when he was arrested.
Former Epic Records president Polly Anthony dies
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former Epic Records president who worked with acts including Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Rage Against the Machine has died.
Epic Records announced on its official Twitter feed Tuesday that Polly Anthony died. She led Epic from 1997 to 2003.
A rare female label head, Anthony went on to become president of Dreamworks and then co-president of Geffen Records. She also worked with Shakira, Macy Gray, Pearl Jam and Jennifer Lopez.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Anthony died from pancreatic cancer last week at her home in Beverly Hills, Calif. She was 59.
Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine tweeted his condolences, calling Anthony a "good friend who played an important role in bringing RATM and Audioslave to the world."
Western cuckoo proposed for federal protections
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing that the yellow-billed cuckoo be protected under the Endangered Species Act.
The cuckoo once lived in cottonwoods and willows along rivers and streams across the West.
Dams, grazing and river channelization have reduced its habitat and its range. Today, it can be found mostly along portions of the Sacramento and Kern rivers in California, the Colorado, Verde and San Pedro in Arizona, and the Gila and Rio Grande rivers in New Mexico.
The Center for Biological Diversity entered an agreement with the federal wildlife service in 2011 to speed protections for the birds and 757 other imperiled species.
So far, 117 have been protected and another 65 have been proposed for protections.
The gray cuckoo has white markings and a long tail.